An Asian-Style Garlic Tofu recipe with flavorful marinade and great served with rice! Easy to prepare and filled with delicious, savory flavor. (Vegan, gluten-free option.)
This Asian-inspired garlic tofu is so simple, yet filled with flavor.
The tofu marinates in a sticky sweet sauce made with hoisin, garlic, and tamari.
If you're not familiar with hoisin sauce, it is like a thick, flavorful Asian-style BBQ sauce. (Yum!)
The first time I used it was for this Vegetable Lo Mein and knew I had to start working it into more dishes. The flavor and texture is perfect for an easy marinade like this one.
Ingredients for Asian Garlic Tofu
For this recipe you will need:
- Extra-firm tofu: Tofu is made from soybean curds and it's rich in protein, calcium, potassium, and iron. I try to purchase organic tofu when possible.
- Green onion (scallion)
- Toasted sesame oil
- Hoisin sauce: This is a thick, richly flavorful sauce that is sweet and salty. The main ingredient is usually fermented soybean paste along with other flavors and spices. Most of the time I use "San-J" brand gluten-free hoisin sauce.
- Tamari: Or you can substitute soy sauce, but I use tamari for gluten-free. Be sure to use low sodium if desired. Coconut aminos could also work.
- Fresh garlic cloves: You can also include freshly grated ginger for more warmth and flavor.
Garnish: Sprinkle sesame seeds on your bowl before serving if desired!
Draining the tofu: Before marinating, we'll remove excess liquid from the block of tofu. (This allows the tofu to better soak up the marinade.) To do this, either lightly press it between towels, or use a tofu press if you have one.
Marinating: After tossing the tofu in the garlic sauce, we'll let it chill in the fridge for 30+ minutes. This gives the flavors a chance to absorb into the tofu and intensify. (No problem if you don't have time to marinate, however. The flavors won't be quite as bold, but it will still taste great.)
Tip: Feel free to marinate the tofu longer for a few hours if you'd like!
Sauce flavors: Freshly grated ginger is also a tasty addition to the sauce! Or you can stir in rice vinegar or even pure maple syrup for a touch of added sweetness.
Make it spicy: Sprinkle red chili pepper flakes or sriracha hot sauce to taste before serving.
We enjoy pairing it with brown rice and broccoli for an easy dinner.
Tip: This tofu is also great with stir-fries, fried rice, or other Asian-inspired meals!
Asian-Style Garlic Tofu
- 14 oz. extra-firm tofu
- 4 green onions
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- Optional for serving: cooked brown rice, quinoa, noodles, sesame seeds for topping
For the garlic sauce:
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (see notes for gluten-free)
- 2 Tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- Optional: freshly grated ginger
- Remove excess moisture from the tofu by gently pressing it between towels. Then cut it into bite-sized cubes. (I cut mine about 3/4-inch.) Set aside.
- Make the sauce: Mince garlic. Then in a shallow pan (I use an 8"x8" glass baking dish) add the three ingredients for the garlic sauce. Stir to combine.
- Add tofu cubes to the sauce and gently toss until thoroughly coated. (*Optional: if you have time, cover and refrigerate to marinate for at least 30 minutes or a few hours.)
- When ready, cook the tofu: In a large skillet, heat sesame oil over medium heat.
- Once oil is hot, carefully add the marinated tofu (with any remaining sauce). Spread out the cubes in a single layer. Simmer and cook without stirring for 5-7 minutes or until lightly seared on one side. Flip, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice green onions and add to the pan during the last 1-2 minutes of cooking. (Sometimes I add a little more hoisin or tamari if the pan becomes dry. The sauce should almost completely absorb into the tofu however.)
- Great served warm over brown rice (and garnished with sesame seeds or more green onions if desired).
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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